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Creole Choir of Cuba
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 10/02/2011 at Symphony Space.

If you loved Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, you will adore the jubilant and sublime Creole Choir of Cuba. With vibrant dancing, spectacular harmonies, and soul-wrenching melodies, these showstoppers perform intricate musical treasures from Haiti, Dominica, and Cuba.




Mangaje - Recounts the disorientation felt by a symbolic figure of an African slave on arrival in Haiti.

Traditional Haitian


Edem Chante - which means “Help us sing,” is a freedom song created during the dark days of the Duvalier regime.

Eddy Francois (adapt. Marcelo Andres Luis)


Mawoule - Tells the story of a poor man who takes cattle through the mountains at night. The song speaks of the loneliness he feels during the long journey across rivers, avoiding cattle thieves and of the inner wisdom that keeps him going.

Traditional Haitian (adapt. Marcelo Andres Luis)


Peze Kafé - Offers a snapshot of difficulties encountered in everyday life. Peze Kafé tells the story of a boy shouting for his mother after he is robbed when taking the family’s coffee crop to weighed.

Traditional Haitian


Kadja Boswa - A prayer to the protector looking after travelers on their way.

Traditional Haitian (adapt. Marcelo Andres Luis)


Chen Nan Ren - This song means “chains around us” and is a defiant cry for freedom, protesting against the continued exploitation and suffering of the poor, from colonial slavery to modern neo-liberal times.

Bobech (adapt Marcelo Andres Luis)


Wongolo - Haitians singing to their long departed friend, Wongolo, where they tell him of the troubles they have been experiencing.

Boukman Eksperyans (adapt. Marcelo Andres Luis)


Marasa Elu - Young children who have been orphaned, having lost their parents in a natural disaster befalling the island

Traditional Haitian (adapt. Teresita Romero Miranda)


Tande - This freedom song denounces the misery and suffering of the Haitian people during the Duvalier government.

Eddy Francois (adapt. Marcelo Andres Luis)


Neg Anwo - A call to the richer members of the Creole population in Haiti to help their poorer counterparts

Eddy Francois (adapt. Teresita Romero Miranda)


Fey - means “Leaf” in Creole. The song tells the story of a mother who mourns the absence of her son, who has been deported as a political protestor.

Traditional Haitian (adapt. Marcelo Andres Luis)


Lanmou Rive - An unspoken love between two young people.

Marcelo Andres Luis


Ou Pa Nan Chaj - Humorous song that pokes fun at a man who has no luck with the women he tries to charm.

Traditional Haitian (adapt. Marcelo Andres Luis)


Limen Casimir - Tells the true story of a young peasant woman with a beautiful voice who becomes famous. However, she falls out of grace and at the end of her life she dies impoverished and alone back in her native village. 

Traditional Haitian




Cha Cha Cha

Traditional Cuban


La Tripita de Havana (The Slag of Havana)

Traditional Cuban


Juramiento (Goodbye Song)

Traditional Cuban


Homenaj al Soleil (Homage to the Sun)



+ About the Artists

Be prepared to hear something completely different and 'new' from Cuba.


Founded in 1994, the Creole Choir of Cuba celebrates the history of their Haitian descendants enslaved to the Caribbean from West Africa. The Choir's ten remarkable singers come from Camagüey, Cuba's third city, down towards the eastern end of the island.

Referred to as "Desendann" literally meaning 'descendant', they tell stories of survival despite abject poverty, of heroes who defied colonial masters, of ghosts at the crossroads, of enduring love, of mother's laments and prayers and of the desire for freedom. And as the choir say: "For us music is like food, it feeds the spirit and is a major inspiration for everyday life."

With vibrant dancing and irresistible melodies driven by richly textured harmonies, shifting Caribbean rhythms with a very original root bass sound, this is impassioned singing by a unique group.


Musical Director: Emilia Diaz Chavez
Producers: Adam Spiegel, Jon Lee, John Simpson

Emilia Diaz Chavez, Fidel Romero Miranda, Marcelo Andres Luis, Teresita Romero Miranda, Dalio Arce Vital, Irian Esther Rondon Montejo, Yordanka Sanchez Fajardo, Marina de los Angeles Collazo Fernandes, Rogelio Rodriguez Torriente, and Yara Castellanos Diaz

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